Lost Horizon book
and the debate
The heated discussion
British author James Hilton coined the name "Shangri-La" in his 1933 best-selling novel "Lost Horizon". He used it to describe a fictional utopian lamasery that was secluded in a high valley in or near the Himalayan Mountains.
Ever since, people have ardently debated where Shangri-La might be.
The story in brief
In the early 1930s, a plane carrying four Westerners crash lands in the remote snowy mountains of Central Asia. Some Shangri-La denizens find and take them to their secret valley.
The Westerners are told philosophical concepts such as "Do everything in moderation". Tension builds among the foreigners on whether they should stay in this utopia or go back to what they know as civilization. Eventually, the hero Hugh "Glory" Conway leaves.
The first book of its kind
The novel Lost Horizon was initially a hardcover edition. Years later, it became the world's first paperback book.